How to Become a Material Engineer?

Are you thinking of becoming a Material Engineer or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Material Engineer, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Material Engineer job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.
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Steps to Become a Materials Engineer

If you're considering starting your Materials Engineer career path, it's important to note the skills, qualifications, and time it takes to become a professional Materials Engineer and how to advance your career path. Below are the steps generally required to begin and advance your Materials Engineer career.

Earn a Degree

To begin your Materials Engineer career path, a Bachelor's Degree in engineering or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain a competitive option for employers. Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A Materials Engineer internship may be required to earn your Bachelor's Degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Materials Engineer?

85% of people working as a Materials Engineer earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Materials Engineer?

  • Surface Chemistry
  • LEED
  • Written Communication
  • Pipeline
  • GOOD Communication
  • Interface
  • Powerpoint
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Materials Engineer in the United States.

Choose a Specialty in Your Field

As an Materials Engineer, you may be required to choose a specialty within your field. Determine which part of the Materials Engineer field you feel strongest in, and continue taking active steps toward growing in your chosen Materials Engineer specialty.

Get an Entry-Level Position as a Materials Engineer

Once you've acquired a Bachelor's Degree in engineering or a related field, you'll typically begin your career as an entry-level Materials Engineer. In general, you can become a Materials Engineer after completing your 4 year Bachelor's Degree in a related discipline. Depending on the type of Materials Engineer role you’re pursuing, you may want to explore certification in certified b corporation.

Advance in Your Materials Engineer Career

Following entry-level, there are several Materials Engineer career path levels to advance into. It can take 2 years as an entry-level Materials Engineer to progress to the senior materials engineer position. Each advanced Materials Engineer position requires approximately 2 years of experience at each level to advance in your Materials Engineer career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications in order to advance your Materials Engineer career path.

Continued Education for Your Materials Engineer Career Path

Not all industries and companies require continued education to advance your Materials Engineer career path. However, earning this degree may help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly. Earning a Graduate Degree in engineering can take 4 years to complete. People that have earned their Graduate Degree typically make $142,595 compared to $65,739 for those without that type of degree.

Material Engineer Career Path

Materials Engineer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$93K - $144K /yrMost Likely Range
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24% advanced to

Senior Materials Engineer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$113K - $183K /yrMost Likely Range
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Lead Materials Engineer

No Years of Experience Reports
$113K - $185K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Material Engineer Career Path

New Grad Materials Engineer
Materials Engineer
Senior Materials Engineer
Materials Engineer Manager
Lead Materials Engineer
Senior Manager of Materials Engineering
Principal Materials Engineer
Director of Materials Engineering
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Related Careers in the Engineering Industry

Interested in other Engineering careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Material Engineer skills. Discover some of the most common Material Engineer career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Mechanical Designer
0% skills overlap
27% transitioned to Mechanical Designer